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Insulating below-ambient systems presents special challenges due to the possibility of water vapor flow to the cold surface. The traditional approach has been to specify a continuous vapor retarder on the warm side of the insulation to minimize vapor flow. An alternative approach utilizing wicking material to remove condensed water from the system has been in use since 1993. This paper reviews the technical basis for the wicking technology and presents results from laboratory testing and commercial installations of pipe insulation systems.
pipe insulation, vapor retarders, wicking
Technical Manager, Industrial and Metal Building Products, Owens Corning, Granville, OH